Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Christmas by instrumentation: with percussion

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 13:10:41 -0500 (EST)
From: David Griggs-Janower
Subject: Xmas music with percussion (long)

Thanks to all who replied. Here is a compilation, as requested by many!

I might mention the ones we did.

Susa Carols and Lullabies (marimba, vibes, harp, guitar - ECS)

Patapan, arr. Batastini (GIA) (flute, snare drum)

Gregory Rose, arr - Five Spanish Carols (we added various percussion,
worked great!) - publ. by Oxford, X311

David Griggs-Janower
Albany Pro Musica
228 Placid Drive
Schenectady, NY 12303-5118

Don't forget the John Gardner setting of "Tomorrow shall be my dancing
day", (OUP), with tambourine and snare drum.
Jack R. Hooton
St. Simons Island, GA

You might consider all or part of Vincent Persichetti's "Winter Cantata"
for treble voices (SSAA) and marimba and flute. (JAnower: Second the
motion - love the piece!)

Kathy Bowers, Webster Univ., St. Louis MO

Dear David,

We performed the Leavitt "Hodie" for piano and percussion this fall. We did
only the first movement, but it is from a larger work. I do not know the
instrumentation for the larger work.

Kent Skinner

You might try my arrangement of "Go Tell It On The Mountain" in a Jazz/Gospel
style. It can be performed a cappella; a cappella with drum set (with as
little as a snare, ride cymbal and brushes) and triangle, and/or jazz bass;
with string orchestra, or string orchestra, drum set and triangle. It's
published by Boosey & Hawkes and its number is OCTB6396. The orchestra parts
are available for rental from Boosey.
If you own the recording of the Susa on Brunelle's "Welcome
Christmas" CD which I produced for RCA, "Go Tell It" is also on that CD using
a chamber ensemble to accompany it.

Steve Barnett
Barnett Music Productions

Neyhlybel (sp?) "Estampie Natalie", is a great Christmas piece with
rhythmic drive and a great percussion part. It also involves a small
string section.

Emily Neil

Do you know "To Bethlehem" by W.H. Parry, an (anglicised) calypso style
carol for SATB, optional solos, organ or piano, and triangle, marracas,
etc. It is highly adaptable for available forces. OUP Yours, Bruce
Cross, Toronto

Check out Z. Randall Stroope's "Hodie" - c. 14 minutes - SATB, organ, brass,
percussion, optional children's chorus (4 C tpts, 2 tenor tbns, bass tbn, tuba,
timp, percussion: pair & suspended cymbals, snare drum, glockenspiel,
xylophone, bass drum..and organ). - Mark Foster Music

Look at "Dancing Day" by Lloyd Pfautsch
SATB choir, flute, oboe, basson, and percussion

bob sabourin

"Betelehemu," published by Lawson Gould, is an African Christmas piece that
uses congas, bongos, shakers, claves, and whatever other bells and whistles
you may choose to use. Complete with movement, and solos, this is a
marvelous "big" piece for your choir. Not difficult to learn but very
impressive. (DJ note: comes in men's and mixed versions to my knowledge.)

Bruce Phelps

There is a very nice setting by Edwin Fissinger of PATAPAN.

One of my favorites is "God's Love Made Visible" by Dave and Iola Brubeck.
There is one version in The Worshipping Church (Hope) hymnal, and I have an
octavo (Hope also, I think) and I believe it is part of a larger work (La
Posada de something-or-other).

Steve Skinner
First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant
Erie, PA

"Musica Romanica" will release in 1997 a piece called "Festum
hibernum-Ancient Cyclic Customs" (Festival of Winter) by the Romanian
composer Alexandru Pascanu for soloists, SATB chorus w/divisi (up to eleven
in the women's voices) and percussion (sonagli, frusta, campane).
It is a wonderful piece bringing together no less than 14 different sacred
and secular Romanian Christmas and New Year's traditional tunes in a
kaleidoscopic manner.

Gabriel Dumitrescu
"Musica Romanica"

Hodie! by John Leavitt is especially nice - SATB piano bells
cymbals, etc.
mike Ellingsen
Vocal Music and Drama
Blue Earth Area High School
Blue Earth MN

1) the favorite piece of the 90's - "Betelehemu", either the TTBB arr. by
Wendell Whalum, (Lawson-Gould 52647) or the SATB arr., which I have not yet
seen. It is up to the conductor to decide how much percussion to add. It
can include shakers and rattles in addition to various drums.

2) A delightful new setting of "Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day" by
Malcolm V. Edwards (Gordon V. Thompson Music VA-4019, distributed in the
U.S. by Warner Bros. Publications, Inc.) for SATB, piano and Perc.
(tambourine or hand drum)

3) "African Noel" by Ronald Kauffmann (Elkan-Vogel 362-03288) SSATBB and
optional percussion (wood block and bongos, although I think it would sound
better with congas)

4) "Where Were You Born, O Holy Child?" by Arnold Freed (Boosey & Hawkes 5620.)
SATB and optional percussion (finger cymbals, tambourine, suspended cymbal,
triangle, tenor drum, tubular bells, timpani). This is copyright 1966 and
may be out of print.

5) A set of three pieces by Alice Parker called Carols to Play and Sing,
scored for mixed chorus, hand-bells or chimes, triangle, woodblock,
tambourine, cymbal, tenor drum and organ. The organ part is quite sparse.
Each is published separately: "In Bethlehem" (2779); "I saw a stable"
(2780); and "Shrill Chanticleer" (2781). I have done the last one and it
is very effective.

6) A setting of "Personet Hodie" by David MacIntyre for two parts (I have
used it for SATB) two flutes and hand drum. It is quite effective, and
works as a processional. I don't have my copy at hand, but I think it is
published by Thomas House Publications.

Richard Householder
Director of Choral Activities e-mail: rhouseh(a)
School of Music Phone: (519) 253-4232, x2797
University of Windsor Fax: (519) 971-3614
Windsor, Ontario
Canada N9B 3P4

Many of the Spanish carols and villancicos (eg. Schirmer?: Riu, Riu, Chiu,
etc), can use percussion. I can't recall if an optional part is written in.
Also, Ramirez' Missa Criolla uses piano, guitar, and a colorful mix of Latin
American percussion. DR